Erin DuPree was the newly appointed Director of Minnesota’s marijuana regulatory agency, having been elevated by Democrat Governor Tim Walz. Walz said DuPree was an effective leader who would successfully oversee the state’s new pot market in a press release Thursday.
After a single day she was up in smoke.
DuPree was attacked, according to the media, because she ran a business, ‘Loonacy’, in Apple Valley, a suburb of Minneapolis, selling products that were in excess of limits on THC potency, had financial issues with former associates, and had unpaid tax liens.
She is accused of breaking the laws she was about to start enforcing.
As well, she was about to start issuing fines to businesses even though she, personally, was behind on payments to employees, vendors, the state, and until just recently also federal tax authorities.
According to news reports, DuPree owed $12,500 total to two different vendors she failed to pay and $71,000 owed for state taxes, and she just recently settled a $45,000 tax lien with the federal Internal Revenue Service.
She was also caught selling vape products with THC, which was prohibited under the new law.
In a statement, DuPree said, “Conducting lawful business has been an objective of my business career. However, it has become clear that I have become a distraction that would stand in the way of the important work that needs to be done.”
Online, the detractors were more specific that DuPree had a defunct consulting firm, ran a Pilates studio and not an actual comparable business in the industry, she was set to be paid a high salary at $151,505, and was caught selling products that would have been found to be illegal by the office she was planning to run.
On May 30 MN Gov. Walz signed a bill making Minnesota the 23rd state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Walz named DuPree on Thursday Sept. 21, and she resigned on Friday Sept. 22. DuPree was set to start her position on Oct. 2nd. The Governor said Charlene Briner will run the office as they search for a replacement.